Why I am running for Town Council

 

 

South Kingstown is a great community. I moved here from Warwick to attend URI and never left. I am always awed by the beauty and quality of life that South Kingstown offers. I want to ensure that it continues on its current trajectory. With the change in town management this Town Council is uniquely positioned to effect South Kingstown policy as it finds its footing in the new era. Strong leadership and experienced voices are an important component to maintaining our care and concern for our residents, our schools, our public services and institutions, our environment and our businesses.
I have the experience and the leadership skills to assist with these goals and I want to be part of the discussions and decisions. I sincerely ask for your vote on November 6, 2018.

 

 

Values, goals, partnerships and protections

I have raised my 3 children in this community. They are all fortunate enough to continue to enjoy living here. All three attended elementary, middle and high school in SK. I appreciate our excellent schools and highly regard our teachers, school administrators, school committee and all support personnel. I know, first hand, how dedicated all of the professionals are. I am committed to ensuring that support and funding for our schools remains a high priority.

South Kingstown’s first responders are first rate. We all appreciate our safe and secure neighborhoods. Well trained and well disciplined, their professionalism is admirable. I am committed to maintaining strong advocacy and support of all public safety employees and services.

Town boards and commissions play an important role in the management of our town. Affordable Housing, Economic Development, Planning, Zoning, Library, Conservation, Historic District, Veterans, Recreation, Waterfront and Bicycle-Pedestrian Committees and Commissions are invaluable. Their findings must be sought out and considered in all Town Council decisions. I am committed to listening to all organizations and partners who share the common goal of a continued great South Kingstown.

Protecting our history and our environment

Our South Kingstown community is proud to be home to historic sites, buildings and landmarks. It is important to protect and preserve our history, heritage and architectural gems for future generations. Let’s find the right way to ensure that our history and historic structures are safeguarded.

The clean waterways, rivers, lakes and the shoreline are of particular importance to the quality of life in South Kingstown. We are so fortunate to live in such close proximity to such beauty.
Who doesn’t enjoy the green spaces along our roads as you drive through South Kingstown? Who doesn’t breathe easier as you walk next to the dunes along the path to the beach? Who doesn’t appreciate the fact that we have farms and farmers who continue to produce a bounty of great local products season after season?

We cherish all of it. We need to be proactive in our protections.

 

Biographical Information

I am a lifelong Rhode Island resident. I was born and raised in Warwick, the middle child in a family of 7 children, my father passed away when I was six. Becoming self-reliant became an art form. Since I was a young girl I have always pushed for equal rights and fair play. I was the first girl granted permission, after a year of denials, to enroll in wood shop class at Gorton Jr. High School, the first girl to wear (scandalous) coulottes in 8th grade when the archaic dress codes were finally loosened. First female bartender at the now (sad) demolished Larchwood Inn. First female inductee and the first female President of the Narragansett Lions Club. Equal rights and equal treatment under the law for all are at the core of my beliefs. If the law does not accommodate fair play it’s time to change the law. The “Do Unto Others…” adage guides my moral compass.

I graduated from Warwick Veterans Memorial High School and went on to attend Boston University. I transferred to URI and graduated in 1981 with a B.A. in print journalism. (No fake news here). I chose South Kingstown to be my home during my college years and have lived in this community, with the exception of a couple of years in neighboring towns when my children were very small, ever since.

I enjoyed a long career working in the hospitality & tourism industry. I worked through college and beyond at the historic Larchwood Inn. Frank Browning, the proprietor, was a mentor. I learned a great deal about hospitality from Mr. Browning and about our community during my years working there. I still keep in touch with many of the people that were my friends and co-workers from that time. My 7 years at the Larchwood Inn made me feel like a local. In 1985 I began working at the Coast Guard House Restaurant and continued there for 22 years. I became the managing partner after inheriting a one-third ownership in the business due to the death of my husband, former State Representative James Kelso, in 1999. My partnership in the restaurant ended in 2008 and I was excited to become the Executive Director of the Narragansett Chamber of Commerce. The years at the Chamber gave me a new, insightful perspective on business formation, opportunity, challenge and success. I learned how tourism is cultivated and sustained. Invaluable learning opportunities abounded. I am currently self employed, happy to help small businesses with their administration, bookkeeping, communications and systems implementation. I have a thorough knowledge of what it takes to succeed in small business. The struggles business owners face on a daily basis – navigating regulations to understanding fiscal responsibility are now part of my acumen. Most importantly, surmounting the challenging seasonal environment that the majority of our local business face is tantamount to success.

My three adult children Carrie, Erica and Andrew¬† (they can call themselves “locals”) were born at South County Hospital and they are all fortunate enough to be living in South Kingstown with their spouses and significant other. They are homeowners, employed in strong professions, making lives for themselves that matter – what more could I ask for? My 7 year old granddaughter is currently a student at Peace Dale Elementary, beginning 2nd grade in the fall.

Politics, and the political process is a passion for me. I have always felt compelled to keep myself informed and engaged in local issues and in the political process. I strive to keep abreast of issues in the local, state and national arena. I have served as the State Committeewoman for two prior SK State Representatives and I currently serve on the RI State Senate District 37 Committee.

One of my favorite quotes is attributed to Desmond TuTu “Don’t raise your voice. Improve your argument”

My decision to run for Town Council is rooted in the fact that I could no longer ignore my desire to serve. My head and my heart said “STEP UP!”